Sports

Warriors, Ellis tame T'wolves

OAKLAND -- Monta Ellis calmly converted the clutch free throws, aching back and all. He moved gingerly through the locker room afterward.

Ellis scored a career-high 35 points to go with six rebounds and four assists, and the Golden State Warriors held on to beat the Minnesota Timberwolves 105-101 on Wednesday night for their fifth consecutive home victory.

"He's just getting better all the time, really fun to watch," Warriors coach Don Nelson said. "It was a perfect game for him to gain some more maturity and be at the line under pressure."

Baron Davis added 27 points, seven assists and six rebounds, and Stephen Jackson had 19 points, six assists and six boards in the fourth victory in five games for Golden State. The Warriors led by as many as 22 before Minnesota nearly rallied from a 12-point deficit heading into the final period.

Ellis went down hard and grabbed his lower back after scoring and being fouled by Marko Jaric with 3:27 left. After landing awkwardly, he stayed down for several minutes before hopping up with help from athletic trainer Tom Abdenour as the crowd chanted "MON-TAY!"

Ellis converted the ensuing free throw, giving him his career high.

"I just let that pain go away for a minute, shooting down my back," Ellis said. "I just had to concentrate."

He shot 13-for-21 from the floor and became one of only five guards in the league shooting 50 percent.

Al Jefferson had 20 points and 19 rebounds, Rashad McCants scored 15 points and Ryan Gomes added 14 for the Timberwolves, who were coming off their biggest loss in nearly 10 years with a 110-76 defeat in New Orleans on Saturday that was a season low for points.

Antoine Walker's basket with 10:45 remaining cut Golden State's lead to single digits at 88-79, and McCants' 3-pointer at 9:16 made it 90-82.

Gomes had key baskets with 2:17 to play and at the 1:04 mark to cut the lead to 98-96. But trailing 100-96, the Timberwolves committed a shot clock violation with 23 seconds left.

"We lost our tempo," Davis said. "I'm happy we got the win. I'd rather win and learn a lesson."

After opening the season with four straight losses at Oracle Arena, the Warriors have gone 8-1 on their home floor, with the only loss coming in overtime to Southeast-leading Orlando on Dec. 3.

The Warriors (17-12), who ended an NBA-worst 12-year playoff drought last season, returned from the second of two season-high, five-game road trips with a 3-2 record.

"I'm still very cautious with the team," Nelson said. "I don't think we're as good as our record or as a lot of people think but we keep playing pretty well."

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